Co-op supporting concert to highlight climate change at UN conference

In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, a Canadian co-op is hosting a concert to raise consciousness around the urgency of climate action. The initiative...

In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, a Canadian co-op is hosting a concert to raise consciousness around the urgency of climate action. The initiative will bring together musicians, artists, activists, academics and politicians as part of as series of events designed to highlight the issue of climate change.

A worker co-op based in Vancouver, Sustainability Solutions Group is partnering with campaigning group 350.org for Pathway to Paris, a global organising project aimed at building a working coalition of engaged partners to coordinate a strong and effective consensus at the UN climate talks in Paris.

A number of celebrities will be attending the concert, including Canadian author, social activist and filmmaker, Naomi Klein, and actress Jane Fonda.

Rebecca Foon, a member of Sustainability Solutions who is involved in organising the event along with Jesse Paris Smith, will also be performing on stage.

Ms Foon, who plays the cello, said the event was inspired by the People’s Climate March, which took place in New York City in September 2014.

“In five days we put together a concert in New York. It was wonderful and we involved American environmentalist Bill McKibben, who gave a speech laying the context. It was powerful, and passionate and translated on stage,” she said.

The concert in New York was a success so the two musicians wanted to take it a step further with support from Sustainability Solutions. They ran a series of events in New York and Montreal over the ensuing year.

“There’s a gap between climate change policy and art and music is the universal language to bring people together,” said Ms Foon. The funds raised will go to 350.org, which is trying to build a global climate movement through online campaigns, grassroots organising and mass public actions. The number 350 refers to climate safety. Scientists say that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere must be reduced from 400 parts per million to 350 ppm. Sustainability Solutions is also working with municipalities to help them reduce emissions and set high targets.

While the Kyoto Protocol has resulted in clear commitments from state parties to reducing greenhouse gases emissions, post-Kyoto negotiations have failed to establish a new worldwide contract about climate protection and emission reduction objectives.

The final Pathway to Paris concert, which takes place on 4 December in Paris, will highlight the importance of setting ambitious CO2 emission reduction targets.

The event also features Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva, Patti Smith, Thom Yorke, FLEA, Dhani Harrison and Tenzin Choegyal as well as Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon.

• Tickets for the concert are now on sale at www.pathwaytoparis.com.

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